Have you ever wondered what the “BB” in “BB Cream” stands for? BBs – which stand for blemish base, blemish balm, beauty balm, or (in Korea) beblesh balm – are multifunctional beauty products that combine foundations, concealers, skin treatments, sunscreens, primers, and moisturizers into one bottle.
An Overview of BB Creams
BB creams were first developed more than 50 years ago by a German doctor, Christine Schrammek. She was searching for a single cream to both protect the skin and provide coverage after laser treatments. BB creams were later introduced in Asia, and were especially popular in South Korea. They were noticed by K-pop stars and K-drama stars, who then endorsed the products. It continues to be high in demand there.
BB creams reached US shelves in the spring of 2011. Now, nearly every beauty company carries a BB cream. These products may cost under $10 at drugstores but exceed $100 at high-end department stores. Some lines are only sold in doctor’s offices and spas.
Most BB creams provide sufficient protection from UV rays, with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher, which is the American Academy of Dermatology’s dosage recommendation. They also usually contain titanium oxide or zinc oxide, which are sunblocks with natural water-resistant properties.
Look for options that also contain:
- Anti-aging components, such as vitamins A,C, and E
- Moisturizers, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid
- Light-reflecting mica for a luminous look
- Silicone-based ingredients, such as dimethicone, which help smooth the skin
Because there is so much functionality in BB creams, they do tend to be thicker than other beauty products. Most BB creams do not have acne-fighting ingredients, however, because the FDA does not allow relevant ingredients to be combined with SPF in a single product. Therefore, it is important to use anti-acne products in conjunction with BB creams.
The best candidates for BB creams are those with normal to oily skin, light to medium skin tones, and who have no need for anti-acne products or heavy moisturizers. Because the formulas keep improving, a pea-sized amount is usually sufficient. There are now BB creams made especially for men as well, and CC (color-control) creams will soon hit the shelves. These will have lighter textures, better hydration, and more coverage.
Targeted BB Creams
Some BB creams are designed to focus on specific goals such as skin whitening. For example, the Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream that we offer at Flawless Beauty and Skin does double duty, saving application time as well as money on the purchase of extra products. There are many valid reasons to undergo skin whitening treatment. It may be to reverse the damage of medical conditions, or it may be purely cosmetic in nature. Whatever the reason, deciding on a treatment strategy should be carefully considered and planned, and BB creams can be a significant help in streamlining the process.
There are numerous treatment options available for pigmentation issues. They vary from home remedies to therapist-assisted programs. Appropriate treatment depends largely on the severity of the issue and how much of the body is affected. It is important to remember that, although some treatments seem expensive, they are sometimes more cost-effective than the price of long-term impacts and management of untreated issues. The darkest spots, called hyperpigmentation, appear in countless sizes and shapes. Some dark spots are caused by sun damage, wounds, and tissue trauma brought on by acne. Therefore, they require varying degrees of attention; fortunately, all can be aided with the use of BB creams.
Suggestions for Use
There are two commonly used mechanisms for determining the right BB cream: ingredients and reviews. Depending on the brand and the product itself, SPF levels will vary. The cream selected will also depend on skin type (dry, oily, uneven, or sensitive, for example). These factors are highly individualized. Customer reviews are valuable ways to obtain genuine, real-time opinions of products: how effective they are for certain cosmetic needs, company policies and customer service, and the overall value of the investment.
For a polished look that is light and natural, BB cream is ideal. Because it includes multiple cosmetic components, it allows the convenient option of only one application. It is applied just as a foundation, but unlike a foundation, it can be worn alone. Consider perusing our extensive selection of BB creams at Flawless Beauty and Skin:
- Original Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream. This is a pearl mineral powder, with brightening sea algae and antioxidant moisture care. It is an ideal foundation and effectively lightens skin. It not only lightens and softens skin, but also oxidizes to perfectly match skin and conceals minor imperfections. It also reduces the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles, and will not clog pores. This product comes from Korea, and is considered to be one of the best of its kind on the market. It can efficiently counteract all skin discoloration issues and is natural, safe, and gentle.
- Original Etude House Total Age Repair Wrinkle Reduce Royal BB Cream. This special formula was developed to nourish and preserve youthful complexions via anti-aging, natural moisturizing, and regenerative components. It includes SPF 45 protection, and will not clog pores. This non-greasy product is especially active on freckles and skin blemishes.
- Magic Silky Body Whitening Cream, With Instant Concealer and Whitener. This product is designed to whiten and condition skin while concealing minor imperfections and uneven skin tone. It effectively targets the inner melanin and outer skin, is dermatologist tested, and has an instant effect. Furthermore, its deep conditioning capability penetrates to nourish and revive.
- Original Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Cotton Fit SPF 30. This is an all-day cream, formulated with pearl mineral powder along with an improved adhesive texture to encourage moist, bright skin. It works perfectly as a foundation and will not clog pores. It is botanically based, safe, and natural.
Whether the “BB” in “BB Cream” stands for beauty balm, blemish balm, or blemish base, there is no doubt that these products are versatile and convenient. Their combinations of concealers, foundations, sunscreens, primers, treatments, and moisturizers make the value of these products evident.